BY BIANCA • Zebras are several species of African equids (horse family) united by their distinctive black and white stripes. • Zebras have never been truly domesticated. • There are three species of zebras: the plains zebra, the Grévy's zebra and the mountain zebra. Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Perissodactyla Family: Equidae Genus: Equus Subgenus: Hippotigris and Dolichohippus Species: Equus zebra Equus quagga Equus grevyi • The plains zebra and the mountain zebra belong to the subgenus Hippotigris, but Grevy's zebra is the sole species of subgenus Dolichohippus. • All three belong to the genus Equus, along with other living equids. • Grevy's zebra and the mountain zebra are endangered. While plains zebras are much more plentiful, one subspecies, the quagga, went extinct in the late 19th century, though they have now been rebred from zebra DNA. • Zebras feed almost entirely on grasses, but may occasionally eat shrubs, herbs, twigs, leaves and bark. Their digestive systems allow them to subsist on diets of lower nutritional quality than that necessary for other herbivores. • When attacked by packs of hyenas or wild dogs a zebra group will huddle together with the foals in the middle while the stallion tries to ward them off. • Unlike the other zebra species, Grevy's zebras do not have permanent social bonds. A group of these zebras rarely stays together for more than a few months. The foals stay with their mothers, while adult males live alone. Like the other two zebra species, bachelor male zebras will organize in groups. • Like horses, zebras sleep standing up, and only sleep when neighbors are around to warn them of predators • Female zebras mature earlier than the males, and a mare may have her first foal by the age of three. Males are not able to breed until the age of five or six. Mares may give birth to one foal every twelve months. She nurses the foal for up to a year. Like horses, zebras are able to stand, walk and suckle shortly after they are born. A zebra foal is brown and white instead of black and white at birth. • Plains and mountain zebra foals are protected by their mothers, as well as the head stallion and the other mares in their group. Grevy's zebra foals have only their mother as a regular protector, as Grevy's zebra groups often disband after a few months. • Humans like to hunt zebras for their fur and meat. One whole species of zebra was wiped out before cloning of DNA repopulated them. Some zebras are breed in zoos so that the numbers in population can go up, without the threat of the real world. • In the wild, zebras are found in Africa. It is thought though that the first of the zebras where from Portuguese. • Zebras are also found in zoos around the world. • Some wealthy people in the early 1900’s tried their hand at domestication of zebras, and a few worked well, but the zebras unpredictable behavior and tendency to panic under stress provided this to be futile. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Etymonline.com. http://www.etymon2.^ Orlando, Ludovic; et al. (2009). "Revising the recent evolutionary history of equids using ancient DNA". PNAS 106: 21754–21759. 3.^ a b c Prothero D.R, Schoch R. M (2003). Horns, Tusks, and Flippers: The Evolution of Hoofed Mammals. Johns Hopkins University Press. 4.^ NPS.gov 5.^ Hunt, Kathleen (1995-01-04). "Horse Evolution". TalkOrigins Archive. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/horses/horse_evol.html. Retrieved 2008-1010. 6.^ J. E. Cordingley, S. R. Sundaresan, I. R. Fischhoff, B. Shapiro, J. Ruskey, D. I. Rubenstein (2009). 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